The Washington Post reports that “fake news” circulated before the election–such as reports of Hillary Clinton’s bad health, that the Clinton campaign paid anti-Trump protesters, and accounts of impending international crises–originated in Russia. Along with the hacked e-mails of the Democratic national committee, the disinformation campaign was designed to spread cynicism about the American system of government and to help in the election of Donald Trump.
Russia tried similar operations during the Cold War, but this time its propaganda agencies have developed a sophisticated presence on the internet, allowing them to manipulate social media. So says researchers at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
UPDATE: But read this critique of the article.